Military grade “Desert Mirage Lizard” painted Nikon gear

Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 2
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 3

Custom painted Nikon equipment is nothing new - we've already seen white and Bruce Lee versions of the D3, has also done few nice custom D4 and Nikkor lens designs. Alexy Joffre Frangieh (who also did the D3 hail torture video) did something different - he used a military grade "Desert Mirage Lizard" paint for some of his Nikon camera and lenses. He manually airbrushed the gear without disassembling it! Additional images can be found on Alexy's Facebook page (click on images for larger view):

Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 4
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 10
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 5
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 7
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 6
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 8
Desert Lizard Camo Nikon gear 9

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  • Rob

    That’s pretty wicked looking. Nicely done.

  • FrenchGuy

    Yeah, I want my D4 to look like camel sh*t!

  • Yannick

    In the desert, it’s very useful to see the Nikon and the D4 on the body! The job is well done but it looks weird with all the black!

  • pjapk

    I’d have thought painting the inside of the lens shades is a great way to increase the chances of unwanted reflections

    • fjfjjj

      He went full retard, man.

      • Drazen B

        Did he get his TiVo in the end?
        Sorry couldn’t resist 😉

  • paparotz

    Very nice job! Whoever did the painting is very good. love the black rubber offset really makes everything pop!

    • No longer Pablo Ricasso

      I don’t know about the quality of the paint or the work, and I hope it doesn’t come flaking off, but that sure would be a nice color to make available. I would think that and olive drab green would be popular with wildlife photographers.

      But the only reason I’m reading this is to to take in all the angry comments made by the people who don’t like it and/or can’t afford the gear.

  • What will a war photographer need the “Nikon” and “D4” logos for? Should have painted over that too, it would look a bit more legit. Or at least covering them in paint and repainting the characters, making them black.

    • Aldo

      agreed… the only thing I didn’t like about the paint job

      • fiatlux

        Same here, althought I’m not entirely sure what the point of this job was… did he just get bored between two assignments?

      • fjfjjj

        How about this?

        • Aldo

          much better.. though I’d like to see the modern font instead. did you do this?

          • fjfjjj

            Yes, I did it (in pixels). I like the old Nikon logo better. Also note Nippon Kogaku body cap and old fashioned Nikon Yellow accent.

            • Aldo

              well done sir… definitely looks better

        • Anil Dave


    • It is a well established fact that only Canon shooters get shot in war-zones:-P

      If it doesn’t work, he might monetize short-term with facebook likes from gearheads. Please don’t forget the widow,

      OK, this is crossing the line even for my taste.

      • Marc J.

        it’s ok, Canon goes to war, Nikon goes to space.

    • Spy Black

      Actually, shoulda made black Nikon type against that “lizard” yellow.

  • ck

    Military grade paint != equal military grade lens. Looks cool though

  • lorenzo

    Look almost like Canon = very ugly!

  • kinkybear

    The stupidity of rich has no borders…

    • Nate Gills

      So that would be three offended rich people who voted this comment down?


      • Pablo Ricasso

        Haha, good one Nate 😉

        I’d just change to – “three offended dumb rich people” in your comment

    • iamlucky13

      Why? What’s stupid about it.

      He wanted to personalize his gear, and he made it happen. He apparently did the work himself, so whether or not he’s rich isn’t even known.

      Much smaller job than custom painting a car, which lots of people do.

      Probably not the color I’d pick, but he did a very neat job of it.

      • genotypewriter

        “Why? What’s stupid about it.”

        Just about all of it.

        As far for being ‘rich’ or not…I dunno, you gotta help me there a little…I don’t have US$15,000 gear laying around that I could paint in desert-yellow for the kicks and loose more than a third of the kit resale value along the way.

        Rich? Maybe not, but dumb and bored – certainly so.

        • No, not “dumb and bored”. If you actually read the article and visted the photographer’s page (Alex Joffre Frangieh), he did this paintjob because he does numerous timelapses in often extremely hot enviroments and the black color does not help all. The Desert Mirage Lizard Paintjob is military graded paint and can withstand extreme heat.

          What works>looks.

          Also, if your profession is in photography it would make sense to invest into gear and to apply it to the conditions you often work in so its easier for you not buying gear for “kicks and loose “.

          • Terr Ess

            If was worried about the heat, he should have painted them white. Or even just put the gear in the shade.

            • The color he used (Military Compound) does more reflecting of light than just a white base.

            • Lord

              Haters gonna hate David. I’d just drop it.

            • Gabriele Profita

              How can any darker matte color reflect more than white?
              The only thing that can reflect more than matte white is polished or shiny white…or a mirror.
              This is physics man…ever heard of albedo?
              Why do you think Canon paints the big lenses in white? And why do you think big telescopes are often painted white?

  • looks like crap

  • lorenzo

    They forgot to paint the tripod

  • rams

    best part is the camo-painted flash 😀 😀 “you didnt see my light striking through the empty and flat desert! you cannot! it’s camouflaged! ha!”

    literally looks like shit imho. even the red D3100 looks better 😛

  • NikonOrDie

    Looks pretty bad ass to me. Don’t know what y’all are whining for.

    • itznfb


    • neversink

      It’s pretty ugly. Just because someone doesn’t like something, or is critical of something, or disagrees with you, doesn’t mean they are whining.
      Let me say it again. UgLY – UGLY!!! UGGGGGHHHHLEEEEEE!!!
      I just hope that this person gives away just as much money to help people who are suffering than he wastes on this ego-building nonsense.

      • Haha

        You’re still whining.

        • neversink

          Nope – no whine in my voice…. just wine in my glass… Just because someone dislikes something, doesn’t mean they are whining. We are artists here and critics as well. Not only those who like it have a right to comment. Do I call positive comments ignorant and sickeningly sweet.?

          This is an open forum. Movie critics give their positive and negative opines. So do book and theatre and music critics. When the renowned critics dislike a work do you call it whining? I call it a difference of opinion.

          So let me repeat my opinion once again in a mellifluous manner, just like I did before:


          • Orpick Aname

            let’s just say your whining matches the paint job.

  • tinoni

    More money than brains. People try to undercover their camera, some like show-off, hey look my camel sh** color camera!!!! WITH LOGOS!!! damn!! beautiful camera, huh? It’s not only Leica Religious enjoy special series, D4 dudes too!!

  • Jon

    With the total cost of this gear, this “painted” set is more expensive as a gallery painting.

    Some one has too much money and time on their hands.

    • Yannick

      it’s a waste of money and the sb900 looks crappy! It’s ugly!

  • BenHDisqus

    Overspray in several places and uneven coats make it look amateurish.

  • chlamchowder

    why isn’t the tripod collar being used with the 80-200/2.8 af-s? Doesn’t using the tripod collar make the combination more balanced and stable on the tripod? (after all, there’s a tripod collar for a reason…)

    • Josko Bonacic

      Well it’s already been established the dude isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in a drawer…

      • fred

        hand hold ok in bright desert light?

        • Roscoe Tanner

          Yeah right…come on, dude. Especially those two telephoto zooms.

  • E

    Nice job. I don’t see anything wrong with personalizing your property the way you want it. It makes it feel like it’s more “yours” for lack of a better way to describe it. The funny thing is I bet I would rather be seen in public with your gear than with most of these whiners wives or girlfriends any day. Come on fellas lets see some pics of what you have wrapped around your arms. lol.

    • Sahaja

      People who waste their time painting their camera gear probably don’t even have a girlfriind.

  • Mr Horse from Ren & Stimpy sums up my thoughts.

  • steve

    I think it looks cool, but I wouldn’t want to take the hit on the resale value.

    • ojinu

      some people might pay a premium or so he likes to believe.. He also could sell it to the army since it is so high tech and stealthy.

      • fred

        Digital bodies don’t appreciate, just depreciate. Wont make much difference in 6 or 7 years.
        I like the idea of Nikon releasing camo green or ‘Realtree Max4’ painted gear.
        Limited release from Nikon, keep its value better?

  • harvey

    I think it looks good and definitely unique.

  • love it. this (or even better camo’d) should be standard option for us discreet street shooters!

    • DisFaceTwitGoo

      Yeah making the camera camo should make you totally undetectable on the streets YFDF… just stick to shooting random crap and stupid captions to make them sound deep like you always do.

  • isarog

    bad idea,colored silicon case works better ..

  • Art

    I think he did a great job. (Really). Looks pretty snazzy and it would go a long way towards ensuring that it is YOURS v.s. all the other black ones out there. If your camera is stolen, it avoids you telling the police officer … Let’s see … It is a Nikon and it is black …

    I can’t wait to try this with my new 800mm f.56 lens. (Just kidding.)

  • looka

    Looks like shit.

  • SkyMeow

    There goes the resale value…

    • Zivko Radovanovic

      By a great margin, actually. Prolly about 35-40% lost forewer…in a moment of stupidity…

  • Morris

    poor gear.

  • Zen-Tao

    In these times everyone are thinking about the army and killing disguises. That guy is a mindless.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Spray painting the inside of a lens hood in a light colour is sheer genius… And why not simply spray the prism and logo beige and then wash in the Nikon and D4 logos in black? Oh well, hope you don’t drop it in the sand at the beach….

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      I think he dropped the tripod collar for the 80-200 in the sand and couldn’t find it….

    • JakeB

      Sraying the inside of the lens hood in light color you say… so this pretty much explains the above comment about stupidity of rich…;-)

  • Jenny

    Body cap is mounted wrong

  • What a waste!

  • Smudger

    Spray away any warranty!
    Neat masking job though.
    Pink D800, anyone?

  • A. Lurker

    The people that castigate Leica for its production of ‘special releases’? This should shut them up once and for all. Welcome to the club suckas… 🙂
    (And I’ve shot Nikon for 40 years.)

    • Al

      Yes, I saw it’s not an ‘official’ thing but, hey, it’s Military Grade!

  • Can’t Believe It

    I say the more the better! When I’m shooting at a crowded event and having trouble getting a group of people to look toward the camera, I would love to have a pink paisley rhinestone studded D4—with feathers and flashing LEDs.

  • photogene

    Like tattoos – usually only the owner thinks they’re cool…

    Whereas the average viewer shakes his head in disbelief.

    Gary, gaudy and cheap.

    A bit like most of the pimped cars that rappers spend they’re money on?

  • Mark S.

    Very sloppy work – most of the buttons have paint run-off all over them. Resale is probably 50% of less.

    • imrich

      lol you actually think he cares about the resell value of his gear. Go look up his portfolio. He’d probably give you this camera for free just so he can see if you’d say well i can only sell it for 50% of what it’s worth so no thanks.

  • susan

    I dunno….for all the time it took to do that just think of the photos he could’ve taken instead.

  • sa

    So now he can discreetly take pictures in the dessert. Last time I checked black is pretty discreet. M16 rifles are black.

  • Reese

    I just wonder if the new paint job can handle being boiled…

  • sa

    camouflage can be a funny thing. I would wonder if this may actually make himself more visible when he is photographing terrorists?

  • 111

    He is going to strike it rich with this cutting edge discovery. What exactly makes this military grade? There is no evidence that this makes you stealthy.

    I wonder if after he painted it he ran around in the desert? hahah… So in the end this is one expensive assumption.

  • NRC

    Nikon Ferrari 28-70mm F2.8

  • Neal Page

    Painting the interior of the hoods, probably not the best idea, although none of us have had a chance to prove the actual effects of this, thus anyone complaining, your thoughts are only theories at this point. Secondly this is concept put in to motion, either appreciate it or don’t, nonconstructive bashing only displays your ignorance. Have you or do you have the ability airbrush anything at all with a great amount of detail involved? Maybe, maybe not.. Customization of your own gear is up to the owner, and doesn’t require wealth to do it, in fact last time I’ve checked the 3 thousand or so graduates per year, with a BS in photography and graphics just in my market alone, have gear, and perhaps aren’t wealthy. Most of the negative comments posted here are out of sheer jealousy and or really wish they had the equipment to use themselves.. fine. Although looking at the attitudes of said nay sayers, if you’re in the business, I wouldn’t hire you anyway. Good luck!

  • davidz


  • J.D.

    I don’t think he cares what we think. I actually think he did this to advertise that he has the ability to do it (in any color and finish) and is confident enough to do it to his own gear. People are asking for quotes. Custom paint jobs aren’t cheap and the more attention to detail required the more expensive they become. So, I don’t believe he’s some rich dummy with nothing but time and money on his hands as seems to be the prevailing thought here. If he does this for others during his downtime the resale value of his gear isn’t relevant as he’ll profit in the long run. Here’s a quote from him on 4-24: “…actually i getting a lot of custom orders on my inbox…” Personally, I think it looks okay and I can appreciate his effort.

  • Spy Black

    I don’t understand why he didn’t paint the lens…

  • malchick743

    Definitely NOT Cerakote treatment……

  • Not for me. Just leave it black

  • jr

    ha ha ha… jr

  • zen-Tao

    I’ve seen better colored pukes.

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